“Consumers Expecting Free ‘Preventive’ Care Sometimes Surprised By Charges”

Recently Kaiser Health News reported “The new health-care law encourages people to get the preventive services they need by requiring that most health plans cover cancer screenings, contraceptives and vaccines, among other things, without charging patients anything out of pocket. Some patients, however, are running up against coverage exceptions and extra costs when they try to get those services.

Read more

“Like All Victims Of The Single Best Answer Syndrome, (The Doctor) Ordered Tests …”

“… in wild profusion because, in his experience, every question had an answer and a test that would get you there.”

We have become a society where test scores are associated with success so it is not surprising that this has become a controversy in physician education.

Recently an article in the New York Times noted: “My young friend had just finished the last months of his medical training. He had faced down many multiple-choice tests and triumphed over them all.”

Read more

“What Personal Care Hospitalized Patients Now Get Is Mostly From Nurses.”

“When nursing is not optimal, patient care is never good.”

It’s always interesting and illuminating what we learn from physicians who report on their experiences as hosptalized patients.

Recently a New York Times article reported about the hospitalization experience of a legendary physician.

“Last June, the month he turned 90, Dr. Arnold S. Relman, the eminent former medical educator and editor, fell down a flight of stairs at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He cracked his skull and broke three vertebrae in his neck and more bones in his face.”

Read more

Ebola In West Africa: Four Questions For The U.S. Response Going Forward

The Kaiser Famly Foundation noted: “As of August 14, 2014, the Ebola virus has infected an estimated 1,975 individuals across four countries in West Africa, leading to 1,069 deaths (including three Americans). The official reported numbers, frightening as they are, likely vastly underestimate the true magnitude of the outbreak. Ebola has severely impacted the daily life of affected communities, and raised concerns across the globe about its ongoing spread. The fact that this outbreak has led to so many cases and deaths (approximately 45% of all cases of Ebola ever reported have come since March of this year) is concerning for the individuals and families struggling with the disease, and leads to questions regarding the global capacity to detect and respond to such events. It also brings up four key policy questions for the U.S. concerning its engagement with the international community’s efforts to combat Ebola and other emerging infectious disease outbreaks.”

Read more

Ebola Cure Scams Are Out There; Beware, FDA Warns

Modern Healthcare noted: “The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued a warning to the public after receiving consumer complaints of products being sold online claiming to prevent or treat the Ebola virus that has killed more than 1,000 people across four countries in West Africa.

The severity of the Ebola outbreak has recently led Nigeria to issue a stern warning to anyone—such as faith healers and traditional medicine practitioners—promoting Ebola cures that they risk arrest, according to reports.

Read more

Fighting Ebola, And The Conspiracy Theories

A New York Times editorial stated: “Misinformation about politics may often seem silly — the immigration bill will give out free cars! — but the consequences of false beliefs in public health can be deadly.

In the developed world, myths about the risks of vaccines have enabled the resurgence of communicable diseases like measles and pertussis. And in developing countries, false beliefs have hindered efforts to fight H.I.V./AIDS and eradicate polio in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan.

Read more

Nearly Half Of Americans Are Afraid The U.S. Will Experience An Ebola Outbreak

The Huffington Post reported: “Ebola has never been transmitted in the United States (and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that it “does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public”). Yet, four in 10 adults in the U.S. are afraid that there will be a large outbreak in this country, according to a recent survey from the Harvard School of Public Health.

The survey, conducted along with independent research company SSRS, also showed that one in four U.S. adults is worried that a member of their immediate family will become sick with Ebola sometime in the next year.

Read more

APHA Releases Ebola Resource During Global Outbreak

Since the first report of Ebola in March, the World Health Organization has confirmed 1,603 cases and 887 deaths resulting from the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In light of the ongoing outbreak, called the “largest in history” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the APHA Bookstore has made the Ebola-Marburg virus chapter of its forthcoming Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM), 20th Edition, available online as a free download to aid public health workers responding to the disease.

Read more

Using A Tactic Unseen In A Century, Countries Cordon Off Ebola-Racked Areas

The New York Times reported: “The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is so out of control that governments there have revived a disease-fighting tactic not used in nearly a century: the “cordon sanitaire,” in which a line is drawn around the infected area and no one is allowed out.

Cordons, common in the medieval era of the Black Death, have not been seen since the border between Poland and Russia was closed in 1918 to stop typhus from spreading west. They have the potential to become brutal and inhumane. Centuries ago, in their most extreme form, everyone within the boundaries was left to die or survive, until the outbreak ended.

Read more